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Two Peas and Their Pod: January 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Recipe for Vegetable Soup with Whole Wheat Spinach Ravioli

Soup has been hitting the spot lately, probably because of the freezing temperatures and snow we have in Salt Lake! And I just love a one pot meal that is loaded with tasty, nutritious ingredients!

Today's Soup du Jour is Vegetable Soup with Whole Wheat Spinach Ravioli. I just used what I had in my refrigerator and freezer. I had a ton of veggies that needed to be used, so they were picked for the soup team! We also had some homemade whole wheat spinach ravioli in the freezer that we made awhile ago, so I threw that in too!

The soup was delectable! I enjoyed the numerous chunks of vegetables...and the ravioli was a great addition. I loved the nutty, wholesome flavor from the whole wheat pasta...and the spinach cheese filling was wonderful as well.

If some of the raviolis break, don't worry, it is a good thing! Then you get the cheese and spinach flavor throughout the soup! If you don't want to make your own ravioli that is fine, just find some in the freezer section! You can find our ravioli recipe here...just use whole wheat flour! We forgot to post that variation when we made it, oops!

All and all this soup was delightful!! Do ENJOY!

Vegetable Soup with Whole Wheat Spinach Ravioli

1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (red, yellow, orange, or green-you choose)

1 zucchini, chopped

1 yellow squash, chopped

Mushrooms, chopped

2 15 0z. cans of diced tomatoes (I used one with Italian seasonings and one low sodium variety)

4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
Italian Essence (I used Emeril's brand, Italian seasoning would work too)

Fresh Basil, chopped

Whole wheat spinach ravioli (or store bought frozen ravioli of your choice)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a big pot. Add in onion and saute until tender. Stir in garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes.

2. Add in vegetables. Saute until soft. About 5-7 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes and broth.

4. Add seasonings and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

5. Carefully drop in ravioli and cook until they float to the top, about 7-8 minutes.
6. Taste and season again if necessary. Serve while hot!

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recipe for Hunan Chicken with Chow Mein Noodles and Vegetables

Maria asked me to write this post since it is our blog! So you get to here from Josh today!!

There is one thing that I really miss about living in the Bay Area, besides living close to my family...the great Chinese Food
. When I lived in Martinez, California, a great little town in the East Bay, there was a fantastic Chinese restaurant. All of their food was great but my favorite dish was the Hunan Chicken. It was sweet and spicy and the flavors were mixed perfectly. My brother and I loved to order the "Human Chicken", it always made us laugh, but they did not always think we were too funny.

When I found out I was moving I tried every method to get their recipe. I first asked them for it, then I offered to pay for it, then I actually got on my knees and begged for it, but nothing worked.

Our friend, who took the orders, said the cook would not give the recipe to anyone, not even the family. Anyways, my sister-in-law Whitney and I tried to look up this recipe then and all we found was Hunan Chicken recipes that contained ketchup. That didn't sound good to us, so I gave up the search. I recently stumbled upon a recipe that sounded a little similar so I tried to recreate our favorite "Human Chicken."

The recipe was really good, it came pretty close! I served the chicken with Chow Mein noodles and vegetables. Maria just had noodles and veggies, she still won't try my chicken:)

Hunan Chicken

Adapted from Tyler Florence


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or canola if you are allergic)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 slices fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Frying:

  • Vegetable Oil, or Peanut oil, for frying
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 4 cups of flour


  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch for slurry
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 dried red Thai chilies
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 thick strips orange zest
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish


Put the chicken into a bowl with the marinade ingredients. Stir well to combine all the flavors, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2hours. Heat vegetable oil, or peanut oil in a wok or deep skillet to 375 degrees F. Add the marinated chicken and coat it well with the batter. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken pieces in batches until they are browned and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. When you have fried all the chicken. Over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil add the chilies, scallion, garlic, ginger, and orange zest. Stir-fry for 1 minute then pour in the soy sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, and honey and bring it to a boil. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Pour the slurry into the boiling sauce, in 2 additions, until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are heated through, about 2 more minutes. Garnish with scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve with the noodle and vegetable recipe below.

**This recipe is good, but it was not as delicious as my favorite. When I do this again I will add sliced Jalapeños, I will use less soy sauce and maybe add some brown sugar. Mess with it until you can get it to your taste.

Chow Mein Noodles with Vegetables

  • 3 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
  • 1-2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium canned
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for the table
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, white and green minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 10 dried shittake mushrooms, rehydrated, drained, and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced canned water chestnuts
  • 6 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
  • Mixed vegetables-we used snow peas, zucchini, broccoli, and yellow squash


Boil the noodles according to package instructions. Drain in a colander in the sink and rinse under cold running water. Shake the colander to drain off excess water and pat the noodles dry with a towel. Heat oil in a large seasoned or non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the noodles, spreading them out to evenly cover the skillet, and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. (Break the noodles up, by stirring, near the end of the cooking). Transfer noodles to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste. Set aside. Discard any excess oil and wipe out the pan. Whisk together the vegetable broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside. Heat the skillet over high heat. Add a little oil if you need to then add the ginger, garlic, and scallion and stir-fry, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, celery, and mushrooms, and mixed veggies and stir-fry, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and spread the ingredients to the outside of the pan to form a well in the center. Pour the broth mixture into the well, bring to a boil, and stir to coat the chow mein mixture. Stir in the bean sprouts and remove from the heat. Season generously to taste with pepper. Transfer mixture to a warm platter and top with the fried noodles. Pass more soy sauce at the table.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recipe for Cilantro Lime Hummus

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, is everyone ready for the big game? I am cheering for the Steelers and Josh is undecided, he likes both teams this year. If you aren't a football fan, no worries, the game is still going to be fun as long as you have some good food to munch on!
What is on your Super Bowl Menu this year?? Ours isn't finalized yet, so we are open to suggestions:)

If you are looking for a healthy and tasty snack, try this Cilantro Lime Hummus with baked pita chips. I love hummus in every shape and form. Traditional hummus is great, but sometimes it is nice to mix things up.

I am a cilantro lover so I thought I would add it to
hummus. Why stop there? I added in lime juice, jalapenos, and garlic for a kick! I didn't use any olive oil because I wanted to keep the fat content minimal. I added a splash of water to thin it out and the texture was perfect!

I served the hummus with baked pita chips. You can also use vegetables or baked tortilla chips. If you have leftovers, try it on a sandwich or wrap!! I really liked this hummus. It was full of flavor, easy to make, and healthy!

Serve your guests a healthy snack to go along with the other goodies!! They will love it! Enjoy the
Super Bowl and GO STEELERS! :)

I am submitting this to Recipe Girl's Ultimate Super Bowl Party Recipe Smackdown! Thanks for hosting such a fun party! For more information and other great recipes, click on the link above!

Cilantro Lime Hummus

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp lime juice
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and finely minced
3/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped

In a food processor or blender, puree garlic, beans, salt, pepper, and lime juice. If it is too thick for your taste, add a bit of water to thin it out. Stir in jalapenos and cilantro. Chill in the refrigerator until serving. Serve with pita chips*, fresh veggies, tortilla chips, etc.

*To bake pita chips, cut your favorite pita bread into wedges/chips. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread out the pita chips. Lightly spray the chips with cooking spray and add salt to your taste. Or you can add other spices! Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, make sure you turn the pita chips often so they don’t burn and all sides get crispy! If you are in a hurry you can use the broiler, just watch them closely.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Viking Cooking School

I am sure everyone has heard of Viking, in case you haven't...they make the BEST kitchen ovens, refrigerators, ranges, etc. They pretty much make it all! Someday my kitchen will have all Viking appliances...I will keep dreaming for now:) Anyways, they also have several cooking schools around the United States and they just opened one in Salt Lake City.

Josh is a business consultant for a bank and I am
a health educator for Utah's workiste wellness program, but now we are also assistants for the new Viking cooking school. How cool is that??? We worked at the V.I.P party and the Open House over the weekend and it was great fun! We helped make appetizers, served, talked to customers, did dishes, etc. We help with whatever is needed!

Classes will begin soon. They teach everything from basic knife skills to pastry classes. There are so many good classes!! We are excited we get to help out. It will be fun working and learning from top chefs and cooking on the best equipment!

For more information about the school or classes visit this site:
there is a school near you!!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Treats for a Baby Shower

Over the weekend I was hired to make treats for a baby shower! This was my first "real" baking job:) It was tons of fun!

I made little lemon cakes for everyone to sample at the shower. I used my mini cake pan with fun shapes from Williams Sonoma. The cakes were adorable, and really tasty too! I snuck a sample:) I think mini desserts are perfect for showers and parties.

I also made three kinds of cookies to put in treat bags for everyone to take home. I decided on chocolate chip cookies with pink M&M's (she is having a girl), chewy chocolate cookies with white chocolate chunks, and my lime coconut snowballs. I packaged them in cute little bags, with pin
k ribbon, and threw in some pink caramel kisses for color and fun!

I had a blast baking for this shower!! Click on the cookies above for the recipes and the lemon cake recipe is below. You can make this in a loaf pan, but the minis were so cute!! You can use a mini muffin pan if you don't have a fancy shaped mini pan, both will work wonders!

Lemon Loaf Cake or Mini Cakes

Adapted From Barefoot Contessa


1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. plain whole-milk yogurt (I used sour cream)
1 1/3 C. sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 C. vegetable oil ( I used canola oil)
1/3 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 C. confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan or mini muffin pan, or mini shaped cake pan! You can use any pan for this cake!

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes for the loaf cake or about 20 minutes for the mini muffin cakes. Test with a tooth pick. If it comes out clean, they are done! If you are doing the minis it makes a ton. I baked one pan and then another. So I got about 60 mini cakes!

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 C. lemon juice and remaining 1/3 C. sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake or mini cakes are done, allow them to cool for about ten minutes. I poke little holes in the cake or mini cakes with a toothpick so the juice can be soaked up. Next, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake or minis and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake or mini cakes. Serve!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

When we went to Illinois for Christmas Josh fell in love with deep dish pizza. We helped my dad make it for dinner one night and Josh has been talking about it ever since. Utah has some good pizza places, but we haven't found a good deep dish place, so Josh decided to try it on his own.

There is no way we could eat a huge deep dish pizza on our own, so we cooked dinner for the Dewey family. It was great fun! Josh did most of the work, I was his assistant. He used the same recipe my dad used. This time we did a veggie section for me...and the rest had veggies, sausage, and pepperoni. I made a homemade pizza sauce and we loaded it with cheese too!

The pizza was down right delicious! The crust was thick, tasty, and crusty, like it should be:) It held all of the toppings together. We had one monster pizza going on. Josh's craving was satisfied...and the Dewey's enjoyed it as well.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza


  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Package Instant Dry Yeast
  • About 1 cup of water-add a little at a time until you get the right dough consistency

Scald milk. Add butter, sugar and salt. Allow milk mixture to cool to "warm." Add yeast and mix thoroughly.

In a heavy-duty mixer (e.g., KitchenAid), add milk mixture. Slowly add flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms a ball. Add water, a little at a time, until the dough combines. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow dough to rise for 2 hours. Punch down the dough, knead briefly, and allow to rise and additional 2 hours until approximately doubled in bulk.


  • 1 Can (16 ounces) Tomato Sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic

Simmer sauce for 1/2 hour.

Toppings and Cheese

Use whatever toppings you like: sausage, pepperoni, veggies, etc.

Shred a lot of mozzarella cheese! We use a lot!

Assembly & Baking

Grease a 10" deep-dish pizza pan or cast iron skillet. Roll the crust to fit the pan. The edges should come to the top of the pan. Take a little bit of sauce and put it on the bottom. Put some cheese on the bottom. Take some of the sauce and spread it on the cheese. Add whatever toppings you like. Take more of the cheese and spread a layer. Add a lot of sauce to the top. Sprinkle with extra cheese if you wish.

Bake 45 minutes at 425 degrees F or until bubbly!

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Recipe for Chocolate Toffee Wedges

I love toffee! It is a great addition to pretty much anything, so when I stumbled upon this recipe in the Weekend Baker, I knew I had to try it! Chocolate Toffee Wedges...a dream come true!

This recipe was SO easy to make! Almost too easy! If you are a baker, I am sure you will have all of the ingredients on hand. I love recipes like this!

You mix up the dough by hand, no mixer is even needed. I love my Kitchenaid, she is my dearest friend, but sometimes it is nice to get an arm workout in:) Once you have the recipe mixed up you spread the batter in a pie or cake pan.
Simple! You bake it for about 20 minutes and that is it! Cut in wedges and enjoy!

I loved the deep chocolaty flavor. The texture was a mix between a brownie and cookie. How good does that sound, huh?? And of course the toffee was absolutely divine! I sprinkled extra toffee on top when serving. I am sure these wedges would be fantastic with ice cream on top too! Anyway you eat these, they will be good! I promise you that!

Chocolate Toffee Wedges
Adapted from: The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge

● 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
● 3/4 cup granulated sugar
● 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate, (2 ounces) coarsely chopped
● 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
● 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
● 1/4 tsp baking powder
● 1/4 tsp table salt
● 1/3 cup canola oil
● 2 large eggs
● 1/2 cup toffee bits


Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom ands ides of a 9-inch pie plate (I used a cake pan).
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add in the toffee bits and chocolate chunks. Whisk until blended.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oil and eggs with a fork until just blended.
Pour the liquid over the flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until just blended. The batter will resemble a scone or other dry mixture but don’t worry. It’s not meant to be a wet dough.
Scrape the mixture in to the pie plate and spread evenly. You might have to press the mixture in to the sides if you are having trouble spreading with a spatula.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in to the center comes out with only a few gooey pieces clinging to it. Transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack and let cool. Cut pie into wedges.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Recipe for Sausage and Cheese Frittata

Josh made breakfast for "the boys" when Lincoln was visiting us. He cooked up a sausage, cheese, vegetable frittata. He also made some hashbrowns. I don't do eggs in the morning, so I had cereal, but I was impressed with the looks of Josh's fritatta. He did a great job!

Josh fried up some sausage, shredded some Colby cheese, and chopped the veggies. He used green pepper, tomatoes, and onions. He cooked the fritatta in an 8 inch skillet so it would be nice and thick. He started cooking it on the stove top and finished it off in the oven.

If you are an egg lover, give this a try! The boy
s sure enjoyed their nice, hearty breakfast!

Sausage and Cheese Frittata

Sausage (Josh used about a half of a tube of sausage)
6 eggs, beaten
Skim milk, a splash to add to the eggs
Green pepper, diced
Onion, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Cheese, shredded (Josh used Colby)

1. Cook the sausage. Shred cheese and chop veggies.
2. Mix the eggs with a little bit of skim milk.
3. Spray a 8 inch skillet with cooking spray. Pour in the egg mixture.
4. Add in veggies and sausage. Let cook for about 5-7 minutes. Until it is almost done.
5. To finish it off, put it in a hot oven that has been preheated to 425 degrees. Cook the frittata for a couple of minutes until it is set.
6. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Place it back in the oven until cheese is melted.
7. Remove frittata from pan and cut into wedges. Serve hot and enjoy!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recipe for Salmon Tacos

Our good friend Lincoln recently came up for a visit. He is a big supporter of our blog, so he knows that we are always in the kitchen. We decided to make him Salmon Tacos for dinner, since they are one of his favorites. We had to spoil our guest of honor!

We grilled up some salmon on our indoor grill pan. Thanks All-Clad! It was too cold to go outside:) Josh made a basic rub with cumin, chili powder, and black pepper.

We spiced up the tacos with fresh pico, lime crema, chopped cabbage, fresh cilantro, and lime. The perfect pairings for fish tacos! We also made our favorite cilantro lime rice and some black beans to go with.

It was one tasty meal! And most importantly, Lincoln approved! It was fun cooking for him. He is the best!

And a BIG thanks to our friend Celsa, for helping us design our new header! We love it!!

Salmon Tacos

Fresh Salmon
Chili Powder
Black Pepper
Cabbage, chopped
Fresh corn tortillas

For the Pico:
Tomatoes, diced
Garlic, minced
Onion, diced
Jalapeno, minced
Fresh cilanto, chopped
Fresh lime juice

For the Lime Crema:
Sour cream (I used fat free)
Garlic, minced
A bit of diced onion
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh lime juice

1. Mix cumin, chili powder, and black pepper together. Josh didn't measure so just guess:) Rub this on the salmon filets. Grill salmon for a few minutes. Make sure the fish is tender and moist. Don't overdo it.
2. Prepare the fixings. Heat up the corn tortillas. Place them in tin foil and heat them in the oven or on a skillet on the stove. Chop the cabbage.
3. Make the Pico. Chop up all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Taste. We don't measure, we just do it to our taste!
4. Make the Lime Crema. You can add mayo to the sour cream, do half and half...but I hate mayo, so I just used sour cream. Again, I didn't measure, just add ingredients to your taste.
5. When the salmon has cooled, pull it apart so it is in chunks. Place the salmon on the hot tortillas. Load on the toppings: cabbage, pico, lime crema, fresh cilantro, and lime juice.
6. Serve with black beans and cilantro lime rice.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recipe for Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

We love Mexican cuisine! It is spicy and full of flavor! I am also big on soups this winter, I am sure you have noticed:) I hope you are up for one more!

I recently made this Vegetarian Tortilla Soup and it was fantastic. Josh said it was his favorite one yet. I told him he says that all of the time, but he said everything is always really good, but this one is REALLY, REALLY good. I made up the recipe while I was making it so I am glad it turned out so well.

I loved the chunks of veggies-potatoes, zucchini, and corn. I used diced tomatoes with green chiles. If you can't find these, just add in a can of diced green chiles. I also threw in a minced jalapeno, so this soup really had a kick! If you can't handle the heat, just leave it out:)

To spice things up even more, I had a little buffet of toppings: cheese, tortilla strips, diced avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges. To make the tortilla strips-I just cut flour tortillas in strips and baked them in the oven at 400 degrees! Super easy and much healthier than frying them.

So if you are in fiesta mood, give this soup a chance! It was a winner!

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (leave out if you don't like things hot)

1 large russet potato, diced (I left the skin on for more nutrients)

2 small zucchini, chopped
1 bag of frozen corn (use fresh if you have it)

2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chiles (if you can't find these, add in a can of green chiles)
3 15 oz. cans of vegetable broth (low sodium, fat free)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Fresh lime juice

Tortilla strips



Diced avocado

Lime wedges

1. In a large pot saute the onion in 1 T. of olive oil. When it is tender add in the garlic and jalapeno. Saute for about 2 minutes.

2. Add in the potato, zucchini, and corn. Saute until veggies are soft.

3. Pour in the tomatoes and vegetable broth. If you are using plain tomatoes, add in a can of green chiles. Stir well.

4. Add in fresh cilantro and lime juice.

5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot with toppings.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recipe for French Baguettes

I was browsing through my holiday photos and found some pictures that I forgot to share! Sorry! I really don't know how I missed this one, because these French Baguettes were amazing!

When we were in Illinois for Christmas we helped my dad make Peter Reinhart's French Baguettes. My dad makes bread all the time so I am glad he was in charge of this one...making the bread was quite the process, but so worth it in the end.

You have to start the pre-frermentee the night before. And make sure you allow plenty of time for raising, baking, etc. If you don't have Peter's book, I suggest you get it. He gives TONS of helpful hints for bread baking...and the recipes are fabulous!

We made two large baguettes because we wanted to make sandwiches. You can make three small ones though. You are supposed to let the bread cool before slicing, but my dad can never wait. He slices right in and slathers lots of butter on. It is best right out of the oven:)

I really liked this recipe. The bread had a nice crust and the inside was soft, everything a good French baguette should be! Thanks Pops for helping us make this. We can't wait to try it on our own!

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend! We don't have to work tomorrow! Yahoo! I love long weekends

French Baguettes

makes 3 small baguettes or 2 large baguettes

For the pre-ferment (pâte fermentée):
2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) unbleached bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) water, at room temperature

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until the dough comes together and knead until it goes from a sticky mess to a smooth ball.
Let rise in a sealed container for about 1 hour at room temperature or until it expands to 1 1/2 times its size.
Knead lightly for about a minute and return to the sealed container. Keep in the refrigerator overnight. The pre-ferment will be usable for up to 3 days. Be sure that your container can handle a volume at least 3 times as big as the dough.

For the final dough:
All of the pâte fermentée

2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) unbleached bread flour

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) water, at room temperature

Take your pre-fermented dough out of the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for about 1 hour to take off the chill. It will be bubbly and may continue to rise in your container.Cut up the pre-ferment into small pieces and mix with the second half.
Knead for about 10 minutes. By hand or you can use a Kitchenaid Mixer.

In a lightly oiled container, ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.It’s very important to put some oil in the container so the dough doesn’t stick when extracting from the bowl later. It should come out as one well-formed blob and feel very slightly sticky to the touch. From this point on, handle the dough as gently as possible to keep the bubbles within from deflating.Use a weighing scale and divide the dough into 3 or 2 equal pieces, depending on how many baguettes you are making.

Next shape the baguettes. Peter gives a nice description in the book. It takes some practice to get them perfect! Proof the shaped baguettes with the seam side up at room temperature for 45 to 75 minutes or until it expands to 1 1/2 times its size.

Preheat your oven to 500°F with a steam pan, in the bottom of the oven. Transfer the proofed baguettes onto parchment paper on the back of a sheet pan. The seams previously on top should now be on the bottom.

Score the baguettes. Using a very sharp knife or a bread slashing tool called a lamé, create incisions about half an inch deep that overlap and run almost parallel to the imaginary line running down the center of the loaves. Cuts that run from side to side will barely expand because long loaves tend to widen instead of lengthen as a result of oven spring.

Load the oven with the sheet pan or transfer the loaves onto a hot baking stone. Pour 2 cups of boiling water onto the steam pan and immediately close the oven door. Lower the oven to 450°F and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the loaves 180 degrees and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes until the crust turns golden brown.

Place the baguettes on a cooling rack for about 1 hour. We never wait! I know you are supposed to but the bread is so good out of the oven!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Recipe for Homemade Spinach Pasta

We love making homemade pasta! This time we tried spinach fettuccine and once again we were in heaven! Josh is the pasta king! I help, but he is the reason our pasta turns out so well. We even started making it late one night. I thought it would take forever, but we were done in 30 minutes. I was impressed!

Using frozen spinach makes this so easy! I am sure you have everything at long as you have a KitchenAid and the Pasta Attachment. If you don't, go out and buy it! It is well worth it. We use it a lot and homemade pasta is so much tastier! You can use another brand or try it by hand if you wish!!

I really liked the color of the pasta too! We served it with a fresh vegetable sauce. It was DELISH! Plus, it made a ton so we rolled the extra pasta into little "nests" and put them in the freezer. I can't wait to eat this pasta again. Even Popeye would love this one!

Spinach Pasta

1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 T water
4 large eggs
4 cups sifted all purpose flour

Place spinach in a towel and wring out all of the water until spinach is dry. Finely chop the spinach using a food processor or blender.

Place the spinach, water, eggs, and flour in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater, turn to speed 2 and mix for 30 seconds.

Exchange the flat beater for the dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for two minutes. Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 1-2 minutes. Divide dough into eight pieces before processing with the pasta sheet roller attachment. If you don't have the KitchenAid Pasta Attachment, use your own manufactures instructions or try it by hand!

To cook the pasta, bring a larte pot of salted water to boil. Add in pasta. Cook for about 6-7 minutes. To freeze pasta, roll the fresh noodles into "nests" and freeze.

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